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How To Remove Waterproof Eyeliner

How to Use and Remove Waterproof Eyeliner – Guide for 2024

    Removing waterproof mascara is known for its trickiness, but you can rest easy knowing that learning how to remove waterproof eyeliner isn’t anywhere near as hard. Well, at the end of the day, removing both the best waterproof eyeliners and mascaras is a breeze with the right techniques and makeup remover products.

    No matter how much you might want to just fall straight to sleep with your eyeliner still on, this is a huge no-go zone. Leaving your makeup on overnight can lead to damaging your skin in both the short and long term. Plus, the skin around your eyes and your lids is the most delicate part of your face, so you should never tug or pull in that area.

    Give your skin the love and care it deserves by learning how to use and remove waterproof eyeliner, the right way.

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    How to Use Waterproof Eyeliner

    How To Use Waterproof Eyeliner

    Before you learn how to take it off, let’s run through how to apply your waterproof eyeliner so that you can get the perfect look you’re going for. We’ll be sticking with the classics and focusing on helping you learn how to apply a winged liner.

    When you’re just starting out:

    1. Keep your arm and hand steady by placing it on a flat surface whilst looking into a mirror. Make sure the mirror is at eye-level, not below you are above you.
    2. Create another point of steadiness by resting you pinky finger on your cheek (the pinky of the hand you’re holding the liner with). Start with your non-dominant side – this is the one that feels less comfortable to draw with. By doing this, it will be easier to replicate what you made on your more comfortable side.
    3. It’s time to play join-the-dots! Drawing dots in the shape of the wing will basically map-out where you’ll create your final wing. Begin from the inner corner of your eye and place small dots close to your lash line. Continue the dots at an angle pointing to the corner of your brow.
    4. Draw some slightly longer dashes where the wing will go to help with making that flick at the end. The wing can go as long as you like – no rules here!
    5. Now just fill in the dots. You can use small strokes to fill it in so that you don’t go outside of the dots.

    When you’re a little more confident:

    1. Again for the best control, rest your arm on a flat area to steady your hand and arm. Always look at the mirror eye-level, but you can tilt your head a little for better view if needed.
    2. If necessary, you can still rest your pinky finger on your cheek.
    3. Start from the inner corner of your lid and draw a line using the side of the liner pen or brush (not the very tip). Bring it out into a wing and flick at the end, keeping it close to the lash line.
    4. Now you’re going to create a second line, but it will finish slightly above the first one, creating that triangle shape at the end for the wing.
    5. Fill everything in slowly, so that you don’t go outside of the lines.

    For the pros:

    1. This method goes from the outer corner to the inner corner. Unless you’ve got a really steady hand, we still suggest putting your elbow on a counter for stability.
    2. You can angle your head slightly backwards to get a better view of your lash line if needed.
    3. From the outer part of your eye, create one sweeping line as close to the lash line as possible. Make another one from the center to the inner corner if you couldn’t reach all the way in one go.
    4. Do the same thing, however this time you’ll create an empty triangle shape by staying further away from the lash line until the line is at the middle of the lid.
    5. Fill in the small triangle at the end where the flick of the wing is, and you’re done.


    How to Remove Waterproof Eyeliner

    How To Remove Waterproof Eyeliner 1

    Taking off eyeliner with a waterproof formula is essentially the same as removing your regular liner, but just with a little more care and attention. Since the formula is designed to be hard to remove, you might be tempted to rub and pull at your skin when it’s not coming off. Avoid this by following our steps.

    (Remember to always use a product that is right for your skin. Use a sensitive-skin-friendly product if your skin is easily irritated.)

    1. Cotton pads are super useful in this case, but you can also use cotton balls or a makeup removing towel. Choose one and then reach for your waterproof makeup remover, micellar water, balm, or natural oil like coconut oil. Oil-based removers are the only ones that will take off waterproof formulas. (Makeup wipes also work, but make sure they are made for taking off waterproof makeup.)
    2. Soak the pad in the solution, or if you’re using balm, scoop out enough that covers the pad.
    3. Close your eye and hold the pad against your lid where the liner was applied. Hold it there for up to 30 seconds, so that the solution can dissolve the liner. Do not rub or tug.
    4. Now you can ever-so-gently start wiping the liner away in circular motions, or from the inner to the outer corner. When the pad starts getting dirty with the liner, turn it over to use a clean side.

    Now continue with your regular makeup removing routine. Double cleanse if you’re wearing a lot of makeup, and don’t forget to nourish your skin afterwards with some serum, oil, and moisturizer.


    Aftercare Tips for Your Delicate Eyelid Area

    Aftercare Tips For Removing Eyeliner

    Even if you use a very gently method to remove the liner, it’s still so important to take care of your eye area to prevent dryness and soreness overtime.

    • Apply an eye cream to your eyes at night time, and even during the day too if you can fit it into your morning routine. Eye creams are specially made to moisturize that delicate eye area, as skin around there can become very dry and brittle.
    • Wear an eye mask. While most are placed under the eyes, you can apply a little of the mask serum to your upper lids (of course making sure to avoid putting it into your eyes) to moisturize that area too.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Long Does Waterproof Eyeliner Last For?

    Most waterproof formulas will last a whole lot longer than regular eyeliners, some even up to 24 hours. They are designed to not crack, smudge, or run. This wear-time will all depend on the brand and ingredients used to formulate any particular liner.

    In relation to shelf life, most eyeliners should be replaced about every three to six months. Some eyeliners with all naturally-based ingredients might have a shorter shelf life, so always check the fine print.

    Is Waterproof Eyeliner Bad for Skin?

    No, it is not bad for your skin as long as you apply it properly, and of course remove it properly too. If you have particularly sensitive skin, opt for a formula that isn’t going to irritate you.

    No makeup product should be left on your skin for too long, and that’s especially the case for waterproof formulas that are stronger in order to hold up against moisture. Another tip is to avoid putting liner in your waterline, as this can be irritating for some people.

    How Often Should I Wear Waterproof Eyeliner?

    It’s best not to wear it every single day, but several times a week is fine as long as you remove it the right way. During the summer time, when it’s generally more humid and sweaty, it’s normal to want to wear waterproof formulas more often – just remove it gently and never go to bed with it still on.

    What is the Best Waterproof Eyeliner Remover?

    Micellar water, waterproof eye makeup remover, cleansing oils, and oil-based balms are all ideal options for taking off waterproof formulas.

    You don’t always have to go for the conventional, commercial products though, and you can use some natural products from around the home if needed.

    Coconut oil is a safe choice, but be careful if you have acne-prone skin – coconut oil can be heavy when it gets on the skin and difficult to wipe off, which can lead to clogging of the pores. Use organic coconut oil and remove it straight right after application.

    We don’t really recommend face wipes, as they can stretch the skin and cause premature wrinkles. And since you’ll be removing eyeliner from around your eyes, you want to be extra careful in this area because the skin is so thin and fragile.


    Final Word

    Whether a winged liner look is your everyday staple, or you enjoy experimenting once in a while, there’s nothing better than knowing you can trust your liner won’t run or smudge. And when you do want it to come off at the end of a long day, you’ve now got all the best tips and tricks on how to take off your waterproof eyeliner. Oil-based makeup removers are gong to be your best friend at taking off that long-lasting formula – just remember to use gentle movements and never scrub or tug.


    Emma Severin

    Emma is our resident research specialist and pro content creator. She has been blogging for many years now and has been reviewing and testing products with us here since day 1. She specialises in beauty, health, home and kitchen related products. As her passion in these fields results in a good eye for spotting the latest top products, and also a critical testing process, you can be sure of her recommendations and honest reviews.

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